Schafer reaches 1,000 career points, but DL girls lose big to No. 1 Shanley

Sam Herder
Emily Schafer scored her 1,000 career point Thursday against Fargo Shanley.

By Sam Herder

Journal Sports Editor

Fargo Shanley showed why it is the two-time defending girls basketball state champions and why it doesn’t look to be slowing down Thursday in the Sports Center. The top-ranked Deacons responded quickly to a slow start en route to a 92-48 win against Devils Lake.

The start was as good as DL could have hoped. Mikayla Wallace scored her team’s first seven points as the Firebirds jumped out to a 7-2 lead. But the Deacons buckled down quickly, going on an 18-0 run as a sign for things to come.

“I thought we played a good first 10-12 minutes,” Firebirds head coach Justin Klein said. “Mikayla got hot, which kept us in the game. We got some rebounds off their missed shots to start. But too many turnovers and we got too sloppy.”

Shanley used full-court pressure to make DL uncomfortable. The Firebirds didn’t get many open looks and on the defensive end, had a hard time containing 6-foot senior Lauren Rotunda in the post.

“It’s a reality check for the younger kids, too, that got in,” Klein said. “That’s a team that’s won 62 games in a row. That’s the best that North Dakota has put out there for the last two years.”

The Deacons opened their lead up to 51-31 at halftime. They extended that lead in the second half as the Firebirds pulled their starters to conserve energy for a big game tonight against Fargo South.

“It’s one of those things where you just move on and come back tomorrow,” Klein said.

Two bright spots for DL were its top two senior scorers. Wallace scored 21 points in the first half. She finished with 23 points off 8-of-11 shooting. Emily Schafer joined the 1,000 career points club with her first basket with nine minutes left in the first half.

“(Wallace) caught the ball ready to shoot,” Klein said. “She made one or two and then she was ready to shoot even more. They’ve got that mentality that if you’re hot, you keep shooting. Emily has been consistent in her scoring in her four years playing. It’s a great accomplishment.”

The Firebirds now turn their attention to Fargo South tonight.

DL sits in sixth place in the Eastern Dakota Conference, 1.5 games ahead of the Bruins. A win secures a No. 6 seed in the EDC Tournament, which hosts bottom seed and winless Valley City in a play-in game.

Tipoff tonight is set for 7:30 p.m.

Statistics

Mikayla Wallace: 23 pts, 7 reb

Averi Ziegler: 7 pts, 7 reb

Kylie Skadsem: 6 pts, 2 reb

Chiara Olson: 5 pts

Emily Schafer: 4 pts